Providing Education, Support & Inspiration for the
The Down Syndrome-Autism Connection™ is the only national organization dedicated to co-occurring Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders (DS-ASD) in the United States. The Connection was founded by parents and professionals seeing a great need to reach out to families and individuals affected by DS-ASD. While we are headquartered in Colorado, we care deeply about your journey no matter where you live. In this age of accessible technology, we are able to support people from coast to coast, and even overseas. We are gathering a global community in support of those with DS-ASD.
If you are a parent wondering if your child (or adult child) may be affected by an autism spectrum disorder, we want you to know that you are not alone. Whether your child actually has a co-occurring diagnosis or not, we hope that you will find this website of great value as you search for answers and support. If you are a professional wanting to learn more, we are here for you, too! Please send us a message and sign up for our e-newsletter by clicking on the "Contact Us" tab above. Thank you for joining our DS-ASD community!
"Because we feel like we don't belong in either 'camp'. My son's peers with DS are so far ahead of him, and the kids with autism seem to function highly but have other issues. It's a whole other ballgame."
"It seems to me that when you combine the two, it becomes a completely different, new condition. You can't make any assumptions based on what you think you know about either condition. We all need to learn more about this co-occurring diagnosis. Thanks for trailblazing this important issue for my benefit as a therapist, as well as for the families I serve who feel really misunderstood."
"I'm so happy that I found you! I've needed you for 15 years!! I can hardly believe that I don't feel all alone anymore. I am truly so grateful. Thank you for starting this organization."
"We teachers need more information about our students with Down syndrome who are exhibiting signs of autism. We need to know how to provide better learning strategies and not just lean on what has worked well for other students with DS. The children I have had in my classroom with DS-ASD seem to have completely different needs and behaviors - some of them very challenging. We care and we want to learn how to help."
"Having a place where people 'get' us is so important. We don't have much of a social life. Friends are rare. Finding other families like ours is a lifeline I can't afford to lose."
"I think a lot of people don't understand...either they don't believe the two can exist together or they just don't think about all the implications of having both. It's easier to connect with others who have similar experiences."
"As I begin this journey, I'm so very grateful that there is a place that can encourage, support and understand us."
Inaugural T21 Road Rally A Success!
The T21 Road Rally™ - a fundraising and awareness event -- took place on September 7, 2013 in Denver. Teams of two rallied around the Denver metro area completing a variety of mental and physical challenges. Every single donation is important to our mission. Thanks to all who donated!
Our thanks to the following:
"Champion Lead Foot" Sponsors $3,000:
Jim & Kelly Williams and DigitalGlobe
"Pedal to the Metal" Sponsors $1,000:
"Road Hog" Sponsors $500:
Bill & Kay Dillaman, Margaret Froehlke, Shortline Automotive Group, and Bob's Painting, Inc.
"Most $$Raised" by a team goes to Team Janet Kay, Caroline & Liz
Thank you venue and prize sponsors: Frontier Airlines, PF Changs, Apex Recreation Center, Buffalo Bill's Museum, Heritage Square, Ancient Treasures Alpaca Ranch, Casa Bonita, Lakeside Amusement Park, Chipotle, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Chick-fil-A, Big Bill's New York Pizza, The Wildlife Experience, DSW, Elitch Gardens, Comedy Works, The Melting Pot, Denver Art Museum, and Town Hall Arts Center.
Check out our new blog and share your DS-ASD journey! Read about other people's experiences and share your own joys and challenges.
Our New ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP Is Now Available
The Down Syndrome-Autism Connection has created a free online support group to help connect our families and supporters! Our journey is unique and oftentimes having a parent, provider or family member in a similar situation provides you with the resources, information and support you need.